A Call To Arms – Tudor Ancestors

During the late 1570’s through to the 1580’s, England began preparing for possible war with the likes of Spain.

Some of the records of the muster rolls made for preparation of these likely wars are still available for this period, and it’s an interesting insight into how many of our ancestors were expected to take up arms in the name of England and of Queen Elizabeth I.

Most were farmers, labourers and many were gentleman and yeoman in some cases entire villages of an able age appear in the muster rolls mostly aged between 14 and 60.

The Muster Rolls for Surrey, England can be viewed online and it gives you a break down of each parish and which men and what position they held, it even includes as to whether they are expected to provide weapons. Many of the wealthiest families would be expected to do so.

Below is a list of ancestors (I have been able to identify) from my own family history that appear in the Surrey Muster Rolls, many belong within the same family.

Parish of Bramley

Edward Elliott (12th great-uncle) – born 1564 – Billman


English Billman

Parish of Wonersh

Lawrence Streate (13th great-uncle) – born 1543 – Archer of the second sorte

John Streate (13th great-uncle) – born 1549 – Archer selected

Thomas Franncis (12th great-grandfather) – born 1540 – Billman

John Ticknor (12th great-grandfather) – born 1545 – Billman of the second sorte

John Steere (12th great-grandfather) – born 1548 – Pikeman selected

William Steere (13th great-uncle) – born 1550 – Billman of the best sorte

Robert Steere (13th great-uncle) – born 1554 – Billman of the best sorte

Thomas Steere (13th great-uncle) – born 1566 – Archer of the second sorte

Ralph Baxe (12th great-grandfather) – born 1547 – Archer selected


Illustration: from the Dictionary of French Architecture form 11th to 16th Century by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc

Parish of Godalming

James Elliott (12th great-uncle) – born 1555 – Archer selected

Richard Elliott (12th great-uncle) – born 1550 – Archer selected

John Elliott (12th great-uncle) – born 1566 – Archer selected

Robert Elliott (12th great-uncle) – born 1557 – Archer of the second sorte

William Peryor (13th great-uncle) – born 1540 – Archer Selected

Walter Peryor (12th great-grandfather) – born 1550 – Gunner / Harquebus


English / French or Gunner / Harquebus

Parish of Thorpe

Thomas Beauchamp (14th great-uncle) – born 1550 – Billman of the second sorte

You can view the Surrey Muster Rolls here.



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